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Drivers are a must for any computer, for they are the piece of software, which make it possible for the operating system to communicate with the hardware of your device.
Without the proper driver, the component (or accessory) you are using may not work efficiently, or in rare cases may not work at all. Your games may not work if you don’t have the latest drivers too.
So, how does one install a driver software? The most common way is to get the drivers from the manufacturer’s website, but this is no easy task. Often OEM websites have complicated menus, which require the exact product model number of the hardware you want the driver for, and then you will have to select the right driver version and one that is available for the bit architecture of the computer (32-bit or 64-bit).
Another way is to use the Windows Device Manager to find an update for the hardware. This often installs a generic driver, which comes built into Windows itself, or downloads one from the Windows Update drivers. Yes, Windows Update does deliever driver updates, but only for basic hardware, and may not finbd one for your advanced Graphics Card or any other.
And it is actually not very good at it. Last Year, Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 10, caused a fiasco by delivering the wrong NVidia drivers causing the users PCs to have issues. Some OEMs like NVidia do have a built in driver updater, which is used to get the latest driver. But for the majority of drivers, you will need to find the drivers manually.
Take for example a brand new PC without an OS (usually a custom built one). When you install Windows, it automatically uses the generic drivers for your computer’s hardware, and as a result, your speakers may not work and your display will be at an incorrectly scaled resolution, until you install the right drivers.
If only there was an application to download and install drivers automatically. Actually, there have been many popular apps for this purpose, but none of them are as reliable to me as Iobit Driver Booster Pro has. A few years ago, I began using the free version on my desktop.
And I was really surprised with it. Not only did it scan my computer’s components correctly, it even showed that many of the existing drivers were outdated. I used to rely on Windows Update and it clearly failed at this task. A quick check on the OEM’s websites showed that the drivers were indeed new. As a result I have kept using it on my computers for my own convenience.
The GUI of Driver Booster is well designed, minimalistic and user friendly. It comprises opf three main sections: Device Drivers, Scan and Game Components.
The first one, Device Drivers lists the devices you have installed on your PC under the up to date tab. If you have any old drivers, i.e., ones which can be updated, they are listed under the outdated tab.
Driver Booster analyzes your drivers with the scanning option. You can run a manual scan for drivers by clicking the large “Scan” button. Doing so will scan your computer’s drivers and compare it with Iobit’s massive database, and if it finds a new driver, it is listed in the outdated section.
You can click on a driver (the date), to see more information about the device for which the update is available. It will also let you update the driver to the newer version, and also uninstall the driver or restore to an older version or even ignore the update entirely. You can also manually update the driver or one of the above mentiopned functions, by clicking the update button from the main result screen, and choosing the appropriate option. One useful thing is that you can export the list of updates to a text file.
One major difference between the free and Pro versions of Iobit Driver Booster Pro is that it can download the drivers much faster thanks to its priority high speed downloads. In addition to this the Pro version can download the drivers and install them when your PC is idle. The program creates a backup of all the drivers, so you can restore them later, if any problem should occur after the update.
You can use the search box for manually searching for a particular device and view its driver information.
The toolbar in the top right corner has some pretty useful functions. The first is the toolkit which can resolve common Windows issues like No sound, Network Failure, Device Error, Bad Resolution and also manage unplugged devices. The Rescue Center which is the arrow icon in the toolbar, lets you restore a driver from a backup or even revert to an older system restore point in Windows.
Driver Booster offers a bit of UI customization by letting you choose one of the three available theme options, its transparency setting, the Font Size for the text in the app, and even lets you pick a custom background for the application. Driver Booster Pro keeps itself up to date by downloading the latest version, as soon as it is made available by Iobit.
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